Not everyone can afford a big lavish wedding, but it’s still possible to pull off a beautiful ceremony and reception on a small budget. You may have to do dome compromising and DIYing, but you’ll save thousands of pounds and still have a wedding day to remember. Here are our 8 tips for planning a wedding on a budget.

Get Married during the Off Season
Wedding vendors are often fully booked during wedding season, so if you have a particular vendor in mind for your big day, they may not be available. If you choose to get married during the off season in the winter months, you’ll have your pick of vendors and wedding venues and they may even offer you discounts. Just be careful of which date you choose because if you set a date that is close to Christmas, you may have to compete with Christmas parties and corporate holiday events.

Have a Small Wedding
Inviting more guests means spending more money on a larger venue, food and drinks, and wedding invitations and favours. This often inspires couples to cut down the guest list. Having a smaller ceremony and reception doesn’t mean that it can’t be beautiful. The money you save on inviting additional guests can be spent on other parts of your special day or set aside for your honeymoon. The alternative is getting married at a registry office or inviting your nearest and dearest to a small ceremony, then inviting more people to celebrate with you at the reception.

Buy Second-Hand Wedding Attire
The costs of the bride and grooms attire, the bridesmaids’ dresses, and the groomsmen’s suits all add up. If you want save money on ceremonial attire, look in shops and on websites dedicated to selling pre-owned dresses and suits and try looking in charity shops. While you may have your eye on a designer dress or tuxedo, you may be able to compromise by searching for preloved attire in a similar style. There’s also the option of renting your wedding attire. If pre-owned or vintage attire doesn’t appeal to you, you may find something in high street stores or sample sales.

Save the dates, invitations, and RSVP cards can be printed cheaply on card using a free template or by designing your own. Wedding favours don’t have to be expensive. Many couples choose edible gifts, so consider giving your guests popcorn, chocolates, or sweets in small boxes.

Flowers are one of the most expensive parts of a wedding. You can create the bouquets, boutonnieres, and flower arrangements yourself for a fraction of the price by sourcing fresh in season flowers from a flower market or from your local supermarket. Just make sure you know how to store them correctly to prevent them from wilting. Another alternative is using dried flowers, which are less expensive. And if you want to take it one step further, you could even use artificial flowers for your centrepieces. They’ll still look elegant, but everyone will be none the wiser.

Minimalist weddings are very popular right now, so you don’t have to worry about having extravagant decorations. Artificial flower or foliage garlands wrapped with fairy lights make simple and chic table runners and chair decorations, paper lanterns can be hung from the ceiling, pillar candles can light up the aisle, and you can punch holes in colourful paper or in flowers and leaves to make your own confetti.

Ask People to Offer Their Time Instead of Bringing a Gift
Instead of asking your guests to bring gifts or envelopes, ask for their help with the wedding planning and setting up. Your friends and relatives can help you if you’re planning to DIY your decorations, they can hang garlands, help with hair and makeup, or bring a dish (if you’re having a potluck dinner). You can also enlist someone to act as a DJ and select songs on your laptop and you can ask people to help you tidy up at the end of the night so you can get it done quicker.

Get a Supermarket Wedding Cake
An, no, were not talking about a boring sheet cake. Supermarkets have now jumped on the wedding bandwagon to offer engaged couples affordable tiered cakes in various sizes. If you were to have a bakery design and bake a cake to serve 100 people, it would cost approximately £300 to £400. A supermarket wedding cake will cost a fraction of the price. Many supermarket wedding cakes are on the smaller side, but it will still taste great. And some supermarket cakes are undecorated so you can use edible flowers or fresh fruit to decorate them.

Have a Family-Style Dinner
A family-style dinner is slightly different from a traditional sit-down wedding meal. At a sit-down dinner, the courses are served on individual plates whereas at a family-style dinner, the food is served on platters in the middle of the table and guests can help themselves. People opt for family-style dinners for more intimate receptions, and it ensures that your guests won’t feel hungry at the end of the night because they can help themselves to seconds. While you may need to pay a little extra to rent the serving dishes, you’ll need fewer waiting staff, which will save you quite a bit of money overall.

Another option is to have a pot luck dinner, so you won’t need to hire a caterer or waiting staff. Ask guests to bring the dishes they’re famous for making and enjoy some home-cooked comfort food at your reception.

Get Wedding Insurance
While wedding insurance may seem expensive, it could save you from having to spend even more money on your wedding day. Wedding insurance will protect you from financial losses if your ceremony or reception has to be cancelled or curtailed (cut short) because one of your vendors goes into financial failure. You’ll also be covered if the flowers, gifts, cake, wedding rings, or ceremonial attire are lost, stolen, or damaged. Wedding insurance includes personal liability cover, which covers you and your partner if a third party is injured or if a third party’s property is lost or damaged during the ceremony or reception. In case something goes wrong at your wedding, purchasing wedding insurance the minute you start planning will save you money in the long run.